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Matsuba Ryoko

Lecturer in Japanese Digital Arts and Humanities

Matsuba Ryoko is a specialist on Edo period printed culture. She is currently Lecturer in Japanese Digital Arts and Humanities at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, University of East Anglia. She received her PhD from Ritsumeikan University (2008). She was a curator of the Citi Exhibition Manga at the British Museum and co-author of the exhibition catalogue.

Recently, she has led the Institute’s ‘Digital Japan’ project, which focuses on the digitization of museum collections such as tsuba and urushi lacquerware. This project involves collaboration with several institutions, including the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), the British Museum, and Chiddingstone Castle. The project also receives technical support from the Art Research Centre (ARC) at Ritsumeikan University. Her research also focuses on the recording of traditional craft techniques in Japan.

Selected publications

  • Producing Facsimile Reproductions (Fukusei): The Case of Hokusai’s Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, in Timothy Clark and Sarah Faulks eds, British Museum Research Volume Late Hokusai: Thought, Technique, Society, 2023. London: British Museum Publication. pp.228-235.
  • Hokusai, K. Mad About Painting (translated by Ryoko Matsuba). 2023. London: David Zwirner Books. [This book was named as one of the best art books of 2023 by the New York Times].
  • Rousmaniere, N.C., & Matsuba, R., (eds), Manga. 2019. London: Thames and Hudson.
  • “Fashion Influencers in the Edo Period; The Yoshiwara and the Kabuki Theater”. In The Worcester Art Museum and Vivian Li (eds.), The Kimono in Print: 300 Years of Japanese Design. 2020.  Leiden: Hotei Publishing. Pp. 48-63.
  • “The Power of Hokusai’s Line” In Timothy Clark (eds.), Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave. 2017. London: Thames and Hudson. Pp. 34-39.
  • “Fleurs du mal: Onnagata (Female-Role Specialists) and Nanshoku (Male-Male Sex) in Edo-period Kabuki”. In Joshua Mostow and Asato Ikeda (eds.), A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Edo-Period Prints and Paintings (1600–1868). Leiden: Hotei Publishing. Pp. 40-51.
  • “Intertwined Characters: Parody images in Edo visual culture”, Andon 99 (May 2015). Pp. 5-19.
  • “Actor picture books and actor-likeness erotica: an examination of Toyokuni I’s erotic book Ehon koi no gakuya”, Art Research 15 (March 2015). Pp. 3-33.

Selected projects

Areas of supervision

  • Early Modern Visual Culture
  • History of Japanese Printing
  • Kabuki Theatre and Theatrical Publications
  • Manga from the Late 19th to Early 20th Century
  • Ukiyo-e
  • Ehon

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